When shareholder Mary Walker came to the second annual CIRI Job and Resource Fair, she hoped to make connections that might lead to employment. She came to the right place.
“I thought the fair had a nice variety of different companies looking for people to work for them,” Walker said. “They were very informative and had materials and resources at their fingertips.”
Walker took advantage of the computer lab CIRI made available to shareholders and descendants to download and print her resume and cover letter so she could apply for jobs on the spot.
With approximately 150 individuals in attendance, CIRI’s second annual Shareholder Job and Resource Fair, held Jan. 28 on the first floor of the CIRI Building, was a great success. The fair attracted 50 percent more CIRI shareholders and descendants than last year’s fair.
“The turnout for last year’s fair really encouraged us to make this year’s bigger and more inclusive,” said CIRI President Sophie Minich. The event featured 22 vendors from 11 different job sectors in Anchorage and throughout Alaska.
Throughout the day, CIRI-affiliated entities, nonprofits and other organizations
accepted applications and answered questions. CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation was on hand to launch its hiring for the 2014 tourism season, while Davis Constructors and Engineers offered employment opportunities related to the construction of CIRI’s new Fireweed Business Center in Anchorage.
CIRI also hosted vendors and industries that were previously underrepresented, including other Alaska Native corporations, such as Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) and Doyon Universal Services, a subsidiary of Doyon Ltd.-something CIRI descendant Andrei Jacobs found very helpful.
Jacobs arrived in Anchorage only six days prior to the fair. “This was perfect timing because I’m in a transition period and I wanted to apply for a full-time permanent job with BBNC,” Jacobs said. “It was great to see other Native corporations here.”
In addition to job opportunities, the fair provided information on training and education assistance available through The CIRI Foundation and the Alaska Vocational Technical Center. CIRI descendant Kiana Active came looking for a job that could work around the college classes she’s taking, and left with more than she’d expected.
“I got lots of job descriptions and information,” said Active, “but I’m also just getting ready for next semester at school, and I learned so much today about funding for school and how The CIRI Foundation can help me.”
Active was encouraged by her grandmother to attend the fair, an event that seems to be growing in popularity not only for the jobs and training it promotes, but as a gathering place for family and friends to catch up with each other while they fill out surveys and enter for a chance to win door prizes.
Prior to the fair, in collaboration with CIRI, Cook Inlet Tribal Council held the first CIRI Shareholder Resume Development Workshop, where participants learned how to create ready-to use resumes just in time to put their best foot forward at the job fair. Additionally, CIRI employees held a clothing drive and made available a variety of gently used clothes and accessories for men and women.
“The job fair is a unique opportunity for our shareholders to learn about available
jobs,” said CIRI Human Resources Senior Director Debra Ahern. “With the resume workshop, we wanted to go beyond just presenting shareholders with information, but also help them polish the tools that could help them apply for and get the jobs they want.”
CIRI’s website is kept up-to-date with information on new job opportunities.